- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 21, 2008

REGION

Rising gas prices send more to Metro

Amid skyrocketing gas prices, Metro officials are seeing increased ridership.

The public transportation system has seen weekday ridership increase during every part of the day this month, compared with this time last year.

Evening ridership has increased the most — 6 percent compared with the same time last year.

Officials think that means more people are leaving their cars at home to run errands and go to events at night.

Weekday rail ridership averaged 742,206 during the first half of this month, up 2.2 percent from the same period last year.

VIRGINIA

RICHMOND

High court justice to join federal bench

The U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Justice G. Steven Agee to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has handled some of the country’s biggest terrorism cases. The panel handles cases from federal courts in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

Justice Agee will fill the seat of J. Michael Luttig, who resigned in 2006.

President Bush nominated Justice Agee in March and asked the Senate to consider his nomination swiftly because of the court’s heavy caseloads and because five of the 15 seats are vacant.

Justice Agee has served as a state Supreme Court justice since 2003.

RICHMOND

Crab industry seeks federal aid

Watermen and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation are asking the federal government to approve emergency funding to help the struggling crab industry.

Virginia Waterman’s Association president Ken Smith is among those who signed a joint letter sent Monday to U.S. senators. In it, several groups urge immediate assistance to keep the industry afloat.

Faced with near-record low crab populations, Virginia and Maryland plan to reduce the female crab harvest by 34 percent.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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